Composition
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Composition. The arrangement and relationship of the different parts that make up the whole image. Photographic Composition. The arrangement and relationship of the different parts within the frame of the camera’s viewfinder. Challenges. Where place the subject

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Composition

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Composition

The arrangement and relationship of the different parts that make up the whole image.


Photographic Composition

  • The arrangement and relationship of the different parts within the frame of the camera’s viewfinder.


Challenges

  • Where place the subject

  • Emphasize or deemphasize subject?

  • Edward Weston described composition as “the strongest way of seeing”

Edward WestonPepper No. 30 (1930)


Goal of Art

  • Communicate an idea, an emotion, or an experience to the viewer

Alfred Stieglitz- Snapshot, Paris (1911)


Space-Figure-Ground

  • Three fundamental components of composition:

    • Division of Space

    • Figure

    • Ground

Robert Mapplethorpe- Orchid and Leaf in White Vase (1982)


Space

  • Refers to the three dimensional illusion of depth in an image

    AND

  • the two dimensional arrangement of objects in a photograph

Alfred Stieglitz - Flatiron Building (1903)


Space: Positive/Negative

  • A division of space

  • Figure and ground


Fill the frame

  • Everything within the frame is there for a reason

  • Does not mean that there should not be any empty space

  • Sometimes the negative space is what makes the picture

Singer Sargent. The Daughters of Edward D. Boit. 1882. Oil on canvas. The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, USA


Fill the Frame

  • Moving in close gets rid of all elements that take away from the subject.

  • Get the subject into the frame so there is no doubt what the photo is all about.

Joel Meyerowitz- Porch, Provincetown (1977)


Fill the Frame

  • Moving in close gets rid of all elements that take away from the subject.

  • Get the subject into the frame so there is no doubt what the photo is all about.

  • “If you're pictures are not good enough, they you're probably not close enough.”- Robert Capa, a WWII photojournalist

Ansel Adams- Oak Tree, Snowstorm,

Yosemite National Park (1948)


Framing

  • Frame picture in viewfinder

  • What should be included/excluded


Fill the Frame

  • When you see a composition you like, forget what the subject is and look at it spatially.

  • Is there an area that does not add to the whole?


FRAMINGThe photographer stepped back slightly and allowed the books to be included for impact.


Figure Ground Relationship


Things to remember

  • Decide what is the figure and what is the ground


Things to remember

  • Put something in the foreground.

  • Pictures with a sense of depth tend to be more interesting than those that look flat

Alfred Stieglitz - Flatiron Building (1903)


Things to remember

  • Avoid joins.


Composition TechniquesStrong Focal Point

SIMPLICITY: An uncluttered background allows the subject filling the frame to command attention.


The Rule of Thirds

  • Based on the Golden Mean


Composition TechniquesCenter of Interest

  • The primary subject catches readers’ attention first and should be the focal point within the photo.


RULE OF THIRDS:Visual “hot spots” are created where vertical and horizontal guides intersect.


Put your subject near one of the four intersections

Composition TechniquesSubject Positioning


DIMENSION: Selective focus adds depth to this photo taken from the perspective of the subject.


Positioning of horizon line along one of the thirds

Composition TechniquesSubject Positioning


Composition TechniquesSubject Positioning


Consider shooting from a higher or lower vantage point for a unique PERSPECTIVE..


CENTER OF ATTENTION:Playground equipment frames the subject, who unaware of the photographer.


TEXTURE: The white cream adds texture and dimension to this image captured at a pie toss.


Composition TechniquesCenter of Interest

  • The primary subject catches readers’ attention first and should be the focal point within the photo.


Composition TechniquesLeading Lines

  • Real or imaginary lines in a photo direct attention to the center of interest.


The rope acts as a LEADING LINE, pointing to the main subjectas he struggles to avoid the water.


Composition TechniquesRepetition of Patterns

  • Texture or line repeatsin the foreground or background in a photo.

SNAPSHOT: While photojournalistic images are the best, sometimes posed photos tell interesting stories.


REPETITION: The repeating colors and the same happy reaction add interest to the photo.


PERSONAL: Focusing on people makes photographs of events, like a college fair, more compelling.


FRESH:The photographer avoids a trite blood drive photo by shooting from an aerial perspective.


GET CLOSE: Sidelines photos show another dimension of the game and allow for close-ups.


EMOTION IN MOTION:Win or lose, there is plenty of human drama to photograph when shooting sports.


TRIUMPH: Smiles and embraces tell the story. The ball provides necessary content to the image.


DETAILS: While faces are important, the lab equipment and hands are also a storytelling focal point.


The photographer’s ANGLE allows for the paper and pen to be included for detail.


Bird’s-eye view is a high-to-low angle


Worm’s-eye view is a low-to-high angle.


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